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Session Overview
Keynote 2
Friday, 11/Sep/2020:
11:50 - 12:40

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Studying Social Interactions and Groups Online

Milena Tsvetkova

London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom

No man is an island and no online user is alone. All human activity is embedded in social context and structure and the rise of social media has made this fact more pertinent to online research. On the one hand, the size and composition of the group individuals interact in, the structure of interactions, and collective or other-based incentives affect individual perceptions, behavior, and outcomes. On the other hand, beyond individual outcomes, group outcomes such as segregation and the unequal distribution of resources matter too. However, analyzing social interactions and groups involves a new set of methodological challenges related to gathering data, reducing data heterogeneity, and addressing the non-independence of observations. In this talk, I will present recent work that uses online surveys, experiments, and digital trace data to study social perception, social interactions, and group effects in context as diverse as social media, wikis, online gaming, and crowdsourced contests.

Milena Tsvetkova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She completed her PhD in Sociology at Cornell University in 2015. Prior to joining LSE, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher in Computational Social Science at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Milena’s research interests lie in the fields of computational and experimental social science. In her research, she uses large-scale web-based social interaction experiments, network analysis of online data, and agent-based modeling to investigate fundamental social phenomena such as cooperation, social contagion, segregation, and inequality. Her work has been sponsored by the US National Science Foundation and Germany’s Volkswagen Foundation, published in high-impact disciplinary and general science journals such as New Media and Society, Nature Scientific Reports, and Science Advances, and covered by The New York Times, The Guardian, and Science, among others.

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